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Is mid april too late to ski in Utah or Colorado or Canada?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

We are planning a trip with our three teenage lads who cannot get off school until early april in New Zealand.  What are our best options for a fun 7-10 days of Nth American skiing at this time?

post #2 of 20

Utah is your best bet.  But almost all the resorts close in mid-April.  Snowbird will be open  and depending on how late you go, the other ones too.  There will be plenty  of snow and it's a big mountain.  You could have absolutely fabulous condition, or it could be a little warm.  It's not a bad decision to go, if that's the only time you can.

post #3 of 20

By mid-April, most of the large resorts start to close due to a lack of skiers, usually not due to a lack of snow.

Last winter being the exception, where resorts simply ran out of snow.

 

Resorts that are usually a good bet in mid-April:

Snowbird

Whistler

 

A-Basin, possibly combined with Breck & Vail (Spring skiing at A-basin is excellent, Vail & Breck can be hit or miss that late in the season).

 

Someone could probably give a better update on the California resorts that are good in April

post #4 of 20

Welcome to EpicSki!  How often does your family get to ski around home?

 

I've been taking my daughter on a late season ski trip to Alta for several years.  We've had a powder dump of some sort every time.  Mixed in with wonderful spring skiing with blue sky and no need to worry about face masks for warmth, just lots of sunscreen.

 

Note that Alta sets their closing date before the season starts because it's on U.S. Forest Service land.  Usually the middle of April, with the Supreme lift closing a week earlier than the rest of the lifts.  Neighboring Snowbird stays open as long as there is enough snow and paying customers, which can be into May.  By early April, the lower elevation places like Snowbasin and Park City are less likely to have good conditions.

 

Here's a Trip Report with video from last April.  Scotty was on his first trip to SLC from Scotland.  He's returning next spring with his father.

http://www.epicski.com/t/112065/spring-skiing-round-salt-lake-city-april-6th-to-15th

 

A couple of threads about planning a ski trip to LCC in April 2012.  The first is Scotty's.  The other was for a couple who stayed at Snowbird.

http://www.epicski.com/t/110992/help-me-finalise-my-slc-booking-for-april

http://www.epicski.com/t/109253/first-ski-trip-to-utah-questions-about-it

Quote:
Originally Posted by Motuman View Post

We are planning a trip with our three teenage lads who cannot get off school until early april in New Zealand.  What are our best options for a fun 7-10 days of Nth American skiing at this time?

post #5 of 20

Forgot about this TR from last April.  There is usually a demo day the first full weekend.  

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/111954/spring-skiing-at-alta

 

If you are interested in staying in the town of Alta, it's possible to see all the possibilities in one place.  The lodges have special deals in April.  For instance, my favorite is Alta Lodge.  Kids 12 and under stay free.  Note that all of the lodges at Alta include meals and do not require a car if all you want to do is ski in LCC.  Snowbird has spring deals too.

 

http://www.DiscoverAlta.com/

 

Lots of VRBO options in SLC if a house or condo with a rental car is more of interest.

post #6 of 20

Resorts close to Banff usually are in very good shape by mid-April. Sometimes with the best coverage of the season and "winter like" snow.

 

Lake Louise and Sunshine Village are open until May.

Some of the best late season skiing in the world IMO.

post #7 of 20
In Colorado, Breckenridge closes April 14 this year. Same date for Vail and Copper Mountain. Arapahoe Basin usually stays open as long as snow lasts. Some years that means skiing in June/July. Loveland, on the other side of the Continental Divide from A-Basin, usually keeps almost the same schedule. One of my colleagues who taught at A-Basin before moving to Breck says the only time he's worked in the rain was on a July 4.
post #8 of 20

Well, the sure bet is Mt Hood in Oregon which is open all year (except for about two weeks in September when they shut down for maintenance)  But i don't know that it's the best option.

 

The resorts around Lake Tahoe are often open late into the season (June or so). 

post #9 of 20

+1 on Sunshine and Lake Louise as your best bet for mid-April. I've skied in Utah a lot in April and conditions have been very variable - great some years, super wet and melty others.

post #10 of 20

Whistler is usually quite good in April.

post #11 of 20

Banff (Sunshine Village and Lake Louise) is fantastic in April.  It's my favorite time of year to ski (that and May).  They are THE two, big classic ski resorts of the Canadian Rockies.
 

post #12 of 20

Mammoth is often open well in to June and sometimes July 4th.

post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post

In Colorado, Breckenridge closes April 14 this year. Same date for Vail and Copper Mountain. Arapahoe Basin usually stays open as long as snow lasts. Some years that means skiing in June/July. Loveland, on the other side of the Continental Divide from A-Basin, usually keeps almost the same schedule. One of my colleagues who taught at A-Basin before moving to Breck says the only time he's worked in the rain was on a July 4.

Winter Park/Mary Jane is open to April 21st this year for some additional Colorado options. Take a look at bestsnow.net for a good statistical look at the various resorts. In making bets by mid-April, altitude, exposure, typical snow patterns may matter (not last year, though). A-Basin for example benefits from spring storms that tend to pile up snow on the Front Range.

I'm not pitching any one place to you, just recognize that when you hear Utah vs. Colorado for example, Utah has one mountain climate zone with micro climate differences. Colorado has four distinct zones and those zones shadow each other typically at different seasonal points. This shadowing is one reason no areas in CO report blockbuster annual average totals.
post #14 of 20

Here is another vote for Banff in Spring. Summer is the high season so prices are cheaper in Winter/Spring, but the one thing that pretty much no other ski resort in North America can match is the gorgeous mountain scenery. Rent a car a take a drive from Lake Louise to the Columbia Icefields and the mountain vistas are amazing and oh yeah, the drive from Banff to Lake Louise is very impressive also.

post #15 of 20

skiing will be good at either Banff or Whistler. But voting for Banff just for the beauty; although April is my favorite month for Whistler and the scenery there has also improved over the years going from an ugly clear cut valley to regenerated forest. Different types of holidays. One requires driving, at the other a car is likely a liability.   
 

post #16 of 20

Love April. Lots of daylight. Small crowds.Fat snowpack. Good stability. Heavy dumps and finally the sun is back. 

post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by vsirin View Post

+1 on Sunshine and Lake Louise as your best bet for mid-April. I've skied in Utah a lot in April and conditions have been very variable - great some years, super wet and melty others.

 

I've never done Banff that time of year, but I agree about UT. A few years ago I skied powder in late April and even May; last year, there was a little snow around April 15, but it turned to sudden-stop slush pretty quickly. All resorts except for Snowbird might be closed by then, so be sure you're comfortable with Snowbird, which is great for advanced-level skiers, not very good for anyone below.

post #18 of 20

Personally, I love April skiing. However, a lot of ski areas close on the 14th - so plan accordingly.

post #19 of 20

Banff (Sunshine Village) has mid-winter conditions until the end of April, after that it can be hit and miss whether you'll get powder, corn, or slop (fortunately slop is rare unless you're skiing in late May).  Lake Louise is lower and can get sloppy on the lower half of the mountain as you get later into April.
 

post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by exracer View Post

Banff (Sunshine Village) has mid-winter conditions until the end of April, after that it can be hit and miss whether you'll get powder, corn, or slop (fortunately slop is rare unless you're skiing in late May).  Lake Louise is lower and can get sloppy on the lower half of the mountain as you get later into April.
 

Still, at 5400' Lake Louise has a high base when compared to most other Western Canada resorts and with the Alberta Rockies being colder than most of B.C., LL has pretty good snow preservation, however it is rocky.

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